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19.01.2007 Cruises create jobs and revenue in the Baltic Sea Region

Cruises create jobs and revenue in the Baltic Sea Region


The Baltic region is the world’s fastest growing cruise market. Cruise tourism in the countries around the Baltic Sea generates an annual turnover approaching € 443 million as well as up to 11,500 jobs.

Cruise tourism is growing faster than any other type of tourism and, with an average annual growth of 13%, the Baltic Sea Region is the world’s fastest growing cruise market. Ranked according to the number of passengers who disembark there, the five largest Baltic destinations are: Copenhagen, Tallinn, St Petersburg, Stockholm and Helsinki. In capital cities such as Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo cruise tourists make up a quarter of all tourists, while in smaller harbour towns, like Gdynia (Poland) and Klaipeda (Lithuania), cruise tourists outnumber other tourists.

Cruise tourism is a crucial source of income for many harbour towns in the Baltic Sea Region. "The last three years have seen a change in attitude at City Hall. Where once politicians viewed heavy industry as the most important source of growth in our region, they now recognise that tourism is an important and growing contributor to our society. It, of course, has both a direct and indirect economic impact on the whole region", says Miglute Hollyday, chairman of Klaipedas Meja, Lithuania.

Unskilled workers find jobs when cruise ships come to town

When a cruise ship docks in a town it brings increased turnover and extra jobs for cruise ship companies, travel agents and the harbour. But it also means there is more to do for the town’s restaurants, hotels and shops.

"It is not just the tourists who improve turnover considerably. It has been shown that those employed in the tourist and service branches spend their money locally to a greater extent than others, which means a further increase in turnover to the town. If the cruise industry is going well it has a positive effect on the local environment, particularly when the unskilled labourers find work when cruise ships dock at a port", explains economist Thomas Odgaard from COWI.

Research published by consultants COWI has established that the 19 destinations that make up Cruise Baltic Project generate a yearly turnover approaching € 443 million from cruise tourism. That means that each year cruise tourism creates up to 11,500 jobs.

The positive effect is also felt in the catering and hotel industry: "This year we have experienced a growth in overnights of 10%. We are convinced that this is because of the cruise industry, which has really had a positive effect on the region. The growth in overnights has also meant that we have increased our number of full time employees by 4%", says Roy Kappenberger, regional director, Denmark, and administrative director for the Radisson SAS Scandinavia Hotel, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Project director Signe Adamsen, from Cruise Baltic Project, which works to attract more cruise tourists to the Baltic Sea Region, says: "COWI’s analysis underlines the fact that the cruise industry is a driving force for the Baltic region and has an impact on the economy and employment in the towns where cruise ships dock."

In 2006, 2.3 million visitors were registered by the turnstiles of the 19 harbour members of the Cruise Baltic Project. The total number of dockings at the 19 harbours this season was 2,079.

For additional information, incl. the destinations and partners: www.cruisebaltic.com

For receiving the COWI’s analysis please contact:
Mette Holdt, mho@woco.dk, phone +45 3355 7413

For further information on the project:
Signe Adamsen, Project Director
sam@woco.dk, phone +45 3355 7429

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